England skipper Eoin Morgan refused to allow Liam Plunkett’s last-ball heroics to sweeten a disappointing showing as his side escaped with a tie from the opening one-day international against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge.
Plunkett smashed the final ball of the match for six to level the scores as England, largely through the contributions of Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes – 93 and 95 not out respectively – matched Sri Lanka’s score of 286 for the loss of eight wickets.
Buttler and Woakes shared 138 in 25 overs as England recovered from 30-4 and then 82-6 after Sri Lanka had set 287 following half-centuries from captain Angelo Mathews and Seekkuge Prasanna.
“To come out of it with a tie is pleasing in a way, because a performance like that can almost mask the poor day we’ve had,” said Morgan.
“Three special mentions for me: Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett got us out of a very sticky situation. Chris Woakes played out of his skin.
“We do have a lot of confidence down the order but we don’t want to leave them too much to do.”
England were staring down the barrel of a fourth successive 50-over defeat until Plunkett launched seamer Nuwan Pradeep into the stands. The next instalment of the five-match one-day series is at Edgbaston on Friday.